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CMEP Weekly Bulletin: Biden Administration Authorizes $2.5 Billion in Arms Sales to Egypt Despite Human Rights Concerns

A look at responses to violence, calls for change, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. (Khaled Dasouki/AFP/Getty Images)

CMEP’s Bulletin is a weekly round-up of news from the Middle East and represents an array of perspectives on the issues we cover. CMEP does not necessarily agree with all the views expressed in the articles, and they do not speak on CMEP’s behalf.

UNRWA faces funding crisis

Image: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. (Khaled Dasouki/AFP/Getty Images)

Biden administration authorizes $2.5 billion in arms sales to Egypt despite human rights concerns


“The Biden administration has authorized more than $2 billion in arms sales to Egypt despite ongoing concerns about Cairo's human rights record. The approval of the sale of military aircraft and air defense radar systems, announced by the State Department on Tuesday (January 25), comes days before Secretary of State Antony Blinken must determine whether to release a tranche of military aid that was put on hold in September over human rights concerns. According to the announcement from the State Department, the administration formally notified Congress of the intended sales of 12 C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and related equipment for $2.2 billion and three SPS-48 Land Based Radar and related equipment for $355 million."

jewish groups denounce settler violence

Image: A firefighter douses the flames in an Israeli car after it was allegedly set on fire by Jewish extremists in the West Bank near the outpost of Givat Ronen on January 21, 2022. (Courtesy: Yesh Din)

ADL, other Jewish groups denounce ‘ongoing terrorism’ by settler extremists
Times of Israel

“Seven liberal-leaning, American Jewish organizations released an open letter calling on Israel’s top leaders to take ‘unequivocal action’ to stop ‘ongoing terrorism and political violence committed by Jewish Israeli extremists in the West Bank against Palestinians, Israeli civilians, and IDF soldiers.’ ‘We urge the entire Israeli government to unite in strong condemnation against these acts, to work decisively to hold those responsible accountable and to confront the growing threats posed by these extremists with the determination and seriousness that this grave situation requires,’ they wrote.”

Syrian cold snap

Image: A snow covered camp for internally displaced people is seen in the Aleppo countryside, Syria January 23, 2022. Picture taken January 23, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. (Reuters/Mahmoud Hassano)

Snow storms, cold and fire threaten displaced Syrians in northern camps

“Five-year-old Intissar and her younger sister Lin were sheltering from northern Syria's bitter winter cold when fuel from a heater ignited their tent, killing them and seriously injuring their mother. The young family and other displaced Syrians were living near the Turkish border in a camp of more than 400 tents, which offer little protection from snowstorms and plunging temperatures which struck in recent days. The cold snap has brought chaos to traffic and flights in neighbouring countries but its effects are most severe in northwest Syria, where 3 million people have been left homeless in a long-running humanitarian crisis.”

What's Happening at CMEP

Webinar Series: Join CMEP for a series of discussions on Gaza in February and March. This program will openly and honestly present the reality of the siege, the occupation, and political leadership as well as include ways participants can advocate with their elected officials to encourage U.S. policies that will help end the siege of Gaza and advance human rights and security for all. This series is co-organized by Churches for Middle East Peace, Arab American Institute, and American Friends of Combatants for Peace. Each 90-minute session will present on one of these four aspects of Gaza: History & Historical Significance, Politics, Culture, Economics.

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) was pleased to highlight our relationship with the Nassar Family and the Tent of Nations in the recent Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) Blog. CMEP is an organizational member of ALLMEP and shares its commitment as a coalition of over 150 organizations—and tens of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis— to building people-to-people cooperation, coexistence, equality, shared society, mutual understanding, and peace among their communities.

Pilgrimage2Peace Tour Announcement:
 CMEP is excited to announce our first in-person Pilgrimage to Peace tour since 2019. This April, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon (Executive Director) and Tala AlRaheb (Ambassador Warren Clark Fellow) will travel to Colorado, California, and Washington State to host a conversation with churches and other community groups about peacebuilding and advocacy related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If your group is interested in hosting these speakers in CO, CA, or WA April 18-May 2, please reach out to nicole@cmep.org to inquire about hosting an event.


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syrian protests for prisoners

Image: Syrian women stage a protest in demand of the release of detainees prisoned by Assad Regime in Idlib, Syria On 12 November 2021. (İzzettin Kasim/Anadolu Agency)

US, UK, France slam Syria regime's 'unlawful detention' of civilians
Middle East Monitor

“The United States, Britain, France and several other countries have called on the Syrian regime to end the unlawful detention and enforced disappearance of Syrian people, and to allow humanitarian access to the country, Anadolu reported. Speaking at the Security Council meeting, the US Ambassador to the UN, Bathsheba Crocker, accused the Syrian regime of ‘thwarting any attempt to find a political solution to the conflict’ and urged to grant unhindered access for humanitarian aid to besieged areas and release people ‘arbitrarily imprisoned and held without trial.’"

world bank berates Lebanon government

Image: A participant stands near a logo of World Bank at the International Monetary Fund - World Bank Annual Meeting 2018 in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, October 12, 2018. (Reuters/Johannes P. Christo)

World Bank berates Lebanon's elite for 'zombie' economy

“The World Bank blasted Lebanon's ruling class on Tuesday for ‘orchestrating’ one of the world's worst national economic depressions due to their exploitative grip on resources. The global lender said the nation's elite were still abusing their position despite Lebanon suffering possibly one of the three biggest financial crashes globally since the 1850s. ‘Lebanon's deliberate depression is orchestrated by the country's elite that has long captured the state and lived off its economic rents,’ the World Bank said in a press release attached to a report on the Lebanese economy."

Houthi missiles

Image: The UAE intercepted two ballistic missiles targeting Abu Dhabi in a new attack. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)

Houthi missiles target Saudi Arabia and UAE as escalation grows

“The United Arab Emirates says it intercepted and destroyed two ballistic missiles over Abu Dhabi that were fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, the latest escalation in Yemen’s long-running war. Monday’s (January 24) attack came a week after another Houthi drone-and-missile attack on Abu Dhabi killed three civilians. ‘The remnants of the intercepted ballistic missiles fell in separate areas around Abu Dhabi,’ the UAE defence ministry said in a statement in state-run WAM news agency on Monday, adding that it ‘is ready to deal with any threats and … takes all necessary measures to protect the state’."

CMEP's Bulletin is a weekly round-up of news from the Middle East and represents an array of perspectives on the issues we cover. CMEP does not necessarily agree with all the views expressed in the articles, and they do not speak on CMEP's behalf.

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 311 | Washington, District of Columbia  20002
(202) 543-1222 | info@cmep.org

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